FSCO launches auto insurance fraud hotline

New hotline recommended by Ontario Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force

When the Ontario Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force submitted its final report to the Minister of Finance in November of 2012, the task force made several recommendations to combat auto insurance fraud. Among the report’s 38 recommendations was that it be made easier for the public to report suspected fraud.

Specifically, the report suggests that “The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) should create an ‘Auto Insurance Fraud Information Hotline’ to promote and facilitate the flow of information about suspicious activity in the auto insurance system. FSCO should report on the follow-up of information submitted.”

Read: Industry urges Ontario to adopt Anti-Fraud Task Force recommendations

FSCO has responded to this recommendation and last week launched its auto insurance fraud hotline (1-855-5TIP-NOW) and web portal.

Mario Manov, manager of FSCO’s consumer services unit, told Canadian Insurance Top Broker that FSCO has always taken tips from consumers about suspicious activity, this hotline just makes the process that much easier.

“This hotline is really more of an enhancement of the process that we had in the past. Just to bring it to the forefront of consumers,” he says.

Read: FSCO warns of auto insurance scam

Consumers reporting suspicious activity can choose to give their contact information or give anonymous tips.

Of course, this isn’t the only thing FSCO is doing to promote fraud awareness.

Kristen Rose, FSCO’s senior communications officer, says the regulatory agency is also engaging consumers on Twitter.

“Every Thursday night from 9 to 10 p.m. on Twitter we co-moderate a weekly online chat with the Toronto Police Service’s financial crimes unit.”

During the chat, FSCO and the TPS financial crimes unit answer consumers’ questions about fraud and offer tips on how to avoid insurance scams.

Recently, FSCO did a chat on staged motor vehicle collisions and invited some Insurance Bureau of Canada investigations staff to serve as subject matter experts.

Rose said that FSCO is reaching, on average, more than 746,000 people each week through the Twitter chats.

Are you talking to your clients about how to report insurance fraud? Let us know on Twitter at @CITopBroker

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Transcontinental Media G.P.